Introducing electric vehicles to Southern Africa

Image: Getty, Emanuel M Schwermer
Image: Getty, Emanuel M Schwermer

You are invited to a ground-breaking conference presented by our Regional Observatory Programme introducing electric vehicles to Southern Africa.

The electrical vehicle is taking the world by storm. Following the Paris Agreement, one of the goals related to curbing carbon emissions is that by 2030 20% of all road vehicles should be electric.

China, Europe and North America dominate the market even though it is still small. South Africa is far behind, with fewer than 1,000 e-vehicles on the road.

Earlier this year, during the TICAD meeting in Japan, President Ramaphosa test-drove a Nissan Leaf, which is an electric semi-autonomous vehicle, which will be available in SA from 2020. But what will the large-scale adoption of the e-vehicle globally mean for Southern Africa? This is the focus of SAIIA’s new Regional Observatory work. The study explores which sectors will be affected most in the region, as well as the implications for the region’s development trajectories should the e-vehicle be adopted worldwide.

Mining, energy and automobile manufacturing are likely to face the greatest impact, with a significant cross-cutting impact on employment, skills development, tax revenues, technology and the environment. The region needs to prepare by understanding the implications and then taking bold and forward-looking decisions.

This event aims to initiate a dialogue between government, industry groups, civil society, researchers and the general public on the adoption of e-vehicles across Southern Africa.

The dialogue aims to identify potential blind spots in addressing the challenges of the e-mobility revolution. The study introduces a large-scale vision for the ‘Green Economy’ and its potential to spur regional integration across various industries and sectors. Southern Africa has an unprecedented opportunity to lead in the e-mobility space.

SAIIA has used a political economy lens underpinned by systems innovation to anticipate major political, economic, technological, environmental and social disruptors facing the region over a 10 to 30-year horizon.

By examining the potential impact of such disruptors through an inter-disciplinary, complex systems scenario-building approach, the SAIIA Regional Observatory hopes to enable pro-active, anticipatory and collaborative public-private action across the region to key emerging challenges.

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5 Dec 2019